Marvelous Metaphors

Project Summary
Marvelous Metaphors were exchanged with classrooms around the country, but the most exciting metaphors were those that centered around the theme of "peace." When Soviet students came to visit Southern California on an exchange, American students from several educational networks began writing peace metaphors.  Students were asked to complete the statement "peace is..."

Contributions were received from all parts of the United States and Canada.

The project culminated with the students drawing graphics for the collected metaphors which were then compiled into a peace publication that Soviet students took back home with them.

Suggested Grade Level and Audience

Estimated Time Required
2-3 weeks

Student Learning Objectives

  • To understand the difference between metaphor and simile
  • To demonstrate the ability to write metaphors
  • To promote peace and understanding in the world
  • To participate in a cooperative writing activity
  • To exchange literary efforts with students around the world
  • To practice writing, editing, and revising
  • To practice word processing, desktop publishing, and telecomputing

Writing Prompt

A metaphor may be a particular word, phrase, or sentence which suggests a similarity between two things.  The comparison between the two objects is only suggested.  Metaphors compare two things that are not alike, but share one similarity. For example, what is similar to a snake and a mountain?  They both bend and curve. A sample sentence might be, "The road snakes around the mountain."  How are eyes and diamonds similar in the sunlight?  They both sparkle.  a sample sentence might be, "Her eyes were diamonds in the sunlight."

Your assignment is to get into cooperative groups and write five metaphors to send to distant audiences on a telecommunications network.  First, read the sample metaphors from students in New Jersey and decide how the two things are similar. Next, brainstorm some words that are difficult to define, such as: love, hate, death, democracy, or peace. As a group, decide which five words the group will write metaphors for. Next, think of an object that is similar to each word and write it down.  Finally, write the entire metaphor and share it with the class.  the class will then select the best ones to type on a word processor, save, and upload to a telecommunications network. The best ones will be published in a literary magazine.

Sample Metaphors
From Edison, New Jersey

  • Space is emptiness from inside. (Lee Martin)
  • Death is a dry leaf crumbling in your hand. (James Smith)
  • Ignorance is a closed door. (Christina Todd)
  • Life is a mountainous train track. (Karen Jones)
  • A pet is a brother you never had. (Scott McGuire)
  • A seed is an unborn baby. (John Benton)



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